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The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
Black and yellow prancing pony badges have been available in the Chinese car market for 20 years and Ferrari is celebrating the anniversary.
To mark its growing success in the country, the automaker announced the inauguration of a permanent brand exhibition at the Italia Center of the Shanghai World Expo Park. Covering almost two square miles, it designed five specific themes to showcase at the venue.
Between the dedicated Ferrari in China, green technology, product, design, and racing wings, visitors will not only get to see current and past ferrari models, but will also get to admire a rich selection of images and videos made for the exhibition.
Ferrari confirmed the debut of their 458 Grand Am would happen at this year’s Daytona 24 Hours, set to begin on January 26th at Florida’s Daytona International Speedway. Derived from the GT3 variant of the 458, the Grand Am race car was developed in collaboration with Michelotto and aimed at the American series.
For the Daytona 24 Hours race, Ferrari has their version of a dream team as a crew. Daytona 500 winner Michael Waltrip will be alongside Travis Pastrana, and endurance race veterans Rui Aguas and Robert Kauffman. Hopefully Ferrari will have better luck than all those other “dream sports teams” like the Philadelphia Eagles and Miami Heat. They’re clearly itching for a victory.
GALLERY: Ferrari 458 Grand Am
Underground Racing’s Ferrari 458 Italia has been twin-turbocharged and packs 700-whp. Lamborghini‘s Aventador LP700-4 delivers 700-hp from the factory, so obviously it makes perfect sense to pit the two Italian exotics against one another in one awesome video.
Though the “racing” in the video isn’t exactly perfect in terms of judging which vehicle is truly better or faster, it’s worth watching to hear the sonorous note of two if Italy’s finest exotics.
The 458 features Underground Racing’s Stage 1 bolt-on turbo kit taking the factory 562-hp to a 700-whp on 93-octane pump gas. If you’re not aware of just how big a difference there is between 700-hp and 700 horsepower at the wheels, this video should clear things up pretty fast.
Underground Racing has promised a rematch of the two in the near future, just as soon as it preps a twin-turbo setup for the Aventador’s V12.
Check out the video after the jump:
It may be called Concorso Italiano, but it might as well be the Ferrari Festival with prancing horses from all decades the overwhelming exotic car of choice at the annual event. Held the past several years at the Laguna Seca Golf Course, we’ve snapped just a selection of the incredible machinery on display in the hopes of providing a glimpse into just how extravagant this event really is.
GALLERY: Ferraris of Concorso Italiano
Technology has significantly impacted the automotive sector especially when cars are produced in the factory. Computers and robotic platforms assemble engines and build the cars without much help from workers. However Ferrari has a different take on production, with their engines being entirely hand-built.
This video shows the buildup of a 458 Italia engine starting with assembling the crankshaft and ending with the installation of the cam covers. The 11 minute video is a walkthrough of the Maranello facility, with interviews from many members of the Ferrari team. Each of the workers explain their task to produce the 4.5-liter V8. It’s nice to see something made by hand for a change.
Check out the video after the jump!
Ferrari announced today that the first six months of 2011 have been the best in the company’s history. The Italian automaker posted a record revenue of $1.1 billion for the first six months of this year and delivered a record 3,577 units or 11.8 percent more than the first half of 2010. Sales also increased in the U.S by 23.9 percent to 939. Chinese sales have increased 116 percent to 378 vehicles.
“These results come thanks to the success of the two 12-cylinder limited editions – the 599 GTO and the SA Aperta – and the strong performance of the 8-cylinder models with the California the standard-bearer in the GT sector and the 458 Italia the benchmark in the sports car area,” Ferrari said in a statement.
With the launch of the all-new Ferrari FF underway, the vehicle will most likely contribute to even better sales results in the next few months.
Based on the GT3 version of the V8-powered Ferrari, out-of-house tuner Michelotto has pulled the wraps off its Grand Am 458 as testing begins for the new race car at the Fiorano Circuit. The 458 Italia Grand Am will be the first factory-sanctioned Ferrari to compete in the GT Class of Grand-Am’s Rolex Sports Car Series.
The exotic race car will feature 500-hp with a redline of 8000 rpm and to help it conform to GT-class rules, Michelotto made the vehicle less aerodynamic and included a 48-mm restrictor compared to the GT3 version. ABS and traction control were removed from the race car while a full cage was built with NASCAR door bars. It will, of course, be racing on Continental tires, the Grand Am series tire sponsor.
GALLERY: Michelotto Ferrari 458 Italia Grand Am
With Ferrari 458 Italia production in full swing, questions have been raised as to when the convertible top will be available and what it will look like.
In this new rendering of the convertible,the 458 takes on a look similar to the 360 Modena Spider, one of Ferrari’s most elegant designs. As for the convertibles official unveiling, it will likely take place at the 2011 Frankfurt auto show, meaning the drop top Spider will be available by next summer. But you better have your pennies saved, because the current coupe has a base price of $225,000 and the Spider will certainly be more expensive.
One of the “it” cars at the moment is the new Ferrari 458 Italia. All those who have been lucky enough to drive it say it is perhaps one of the best driving machines ever made.
However, those who prefer to drive topless (we mean, with the roof down) have been waiting for the Spider version. Now according to new rumors, Ferrari is working on the drop-top 458 and it will likely feature a folding hard-top.
This won’t be the first Ferrari to adopt a retracting hard-top, since this feature has been available on the current California model for a couple of years now. A 180-degree rotating roof was also offered on the 575 Super America model, which had a special glass roof.
As for this models official unveiling, it is suggested to be in Frankfurt this year. That means, you’ll be able to enjoy the magic of the 458 Spider by next summer. Better start saving up now because if the current coupe has a base price of $225,000; the convertible will certainly be more expensive.
The young and wealthy of New York gathered in the Park Avenue Ferrari showroom in Manhattan on Tuesday to ogle a new coffee-table book that traces the history and heritage of the automaker in words and exclusive photos. Marco Mattiacci, the president of Ferrari North America, was also there to greet the chic crowd, most of them current or prospective Ferrari owners.
The Official Ferrari Opus is not just any coffee-table book, especially the volume made with its red-leather cover featuring the brand’s prancing horse encrusted with diamonds. This edition retails for $250,000 while the cheaper model was priced at a more “reasonable” $3,200.
Mr. Mattiacci later explained, that the rapid growth of the Ferrari brand in China “We were selling 300 cars a year when I left,” he said. “It is now the second-largest market for Ferrari, and the average age of customers there is 32. In the U.S., it’s 47.” He also said that most sales in America were to repeat customers. “My job is to gain more opportunity in the U.S. for Ferrari,” The United States accounts for more than a quarter of Ferrari’s annual sales. Mattiacci said he has worked hard to attract growth among younger buyers, as he recently assembled a show-and-tell session in California to attract the sultans of Silicon Valley.
Modified Ferraris and Novitec Rosso almost go hand-in-hand, with the tuner constantly paving the way for new packages for Ferrari models. Their modifications are always within the spirit of the automobile, never straying away with aggressive body lines and sharp edges. In short, Novitec Rosso packages tend to accentuate the already existing platform rather than change it entirely. Case in point: This Ferrari 458 Italia built by Street Concepts Elite in Orange County, CA (Novitec Rosso’s Orange County dealer).
The jet black Ferrari 458 Italia is beautiful off the assembly line but with the aid of Novitec Rosso’s suite of parts, it’s now breathtaking. Possibly the best aero kit that’s available for the Italia, Novitec’s package mixes carbon fiber with subtle styling. In addition, Street Concepts Elite outfitted the Italia with Novitec’s stylish NF3 wheels. Up front is a 21×9-inch setup while the rear receives a larger and wider 22×12-inch pairing.
GALLERY: Street Concepts Elite Novitec Rosso Ferrari 458 Italia
[Source: Jon Sibal]
At this year’s International Engine of the Year awards, Italian powerplants claimed half of the awards handed out. Fiat managed to win four of twelve awards with the company’s 875-cc TwinAir mill.
The Fiat engine achieved: Best New Engine of 2011, Green Engine of the Year, 1.0-liter Engine of the Year and International Engine of the Year. Ferrari, with its 4.5-liter V8 from the 458, acquired Best Engine Above 4.0-liters as well as Best Performance engine.
Germany’s BMW, Audi and Volkswagen did well with BMW taking four awards alone.
Apparently a new trend has been set in China. If you’re wealthy and getting married, better whip out every supercar exotic you can get your hands on and take them out on the street. This particular wedding, in Wenzhou, featured 28 exotic supercars from Ferrari’s 458 Italia to Bentley’s Flying Spur.
At first, it was fun to watch all the supercars parade around for a wedding, but now many local Chinese are finding it a tad repulsive. As with any country experiencing an abundant of wealth, the separation from lower to middle class and middle class to upper class starts to widen. Without surprise some aren’t finding it as amusing as others back in China. As for us? We can’t wait until someone rolls out their own wedding entourage with millions of dollars worth of exotics.
Check out the video after the break.
Famed Ferrari tuner Novitec Rosso will be debuting its rendition of the new 458 Italia at this year’s Geneva Motor Show. Since the debut of Ferrari’s 458 Italia, several aftermarket manufacturers have revealed their own versions, but few can rival what Novitec Rosso brings to the table. With every exotic Ferrari model that’s been designed and manufactured, it’s a guarantee that Novitec finds a way to refine it towards automotive perfection. Their 458 Italia is no different, with an additional 39-hp (609-hp total) over stock, a staggered set of 21-inch/22-inch wheels and an aerodynamic kit thoroughly developed in the wind tunnel to maximize performance.
The 4.5L V8 receives its power boost thanks to a new carbon fiber airbox and high-performance exhaust system. The exhaust system includes high performance manifolds, sport catalysts and a rear muffler design featuring a control flap that can be adjusted through the Manettino button on the steering wheel. All this plus the weight savings from the new exhaust contribute to the performance gains, with the majority of the power gain coming from a new ECU retune.
Through wind tunnel testing, Novitec also developed a sleek carbon fiber aerodynamic kit for the 458 Italia. The front spoiler is simply attached to the factory front bumper while flaps are added to the right and left of the central air inlet to help minimize lift on the front axle. Wings and fender-mounted ventilation louvers (also made from carbon fiber) gives the Italia a sportier design, along with the carbon fiber mirror covers.
On the side, Novitec also designed new side skirts that create optimal airflow between the front and rear wheels. Speaking of the rear, the Italia is outfitted with a new spoiler and carbon fiber diffuser. Carbon fiber touches are also seen on the roof, engine hood, ventilation louvers and fog lamp surround.
For suspension, Novitec outfits the 458 with a set of their sport springs that lower the vehicle around 1.4-inches, while the front lift system can raise the car by 1.57-inches to avoid curbs and speed bumps. While many of Novitec’s wheels will probably fit the 458 Italia, they chose a custom set of NF3 rollers for this demo car. Up front is a 21×9-inch fitment while the rear is outfitted with 22×12-inch wheels.
Lastly, interior upgrades are available – fully catered to the needs of the customer of course. Leather and Alcantara upholstery is available along with carbon fiber accents in the cabin.
GALLERY: Novitec Rosso Ferrari 458 Italia
Fenice Milano’s Fiat 500 La Dolce Vita wasn’t exactly our cup of tea, but it looks like their rendition of Ferrari‘s 458 Italia might be more acceptable. Despite a horrible rendering released by the company, the tuner looks to be on the right track with this tuning package.
Based on our source, there is supposedly a performance increase from the vehicle, but the numbers released by Fenice Milano simply look like the stock figures of 400 ft-lbs of torque and 560-hp. The aerodynamics of the car are tweaked though along with a lightened body thanks to carbon fiber replacements on the roof, front and rear fenders, mirrors and spoiler.
Fenice Milano is also offering an entirely new aluminum frame for the 458 Italia which is paired with suspension tweaks. Outfitting each corner is a set of staggered 20-inch three-piece wheels wrapped with 235/35 rubber in the front and 325/25 rubber in the rear. The only performance modification they state in the release is a new exhaust system which we imagine is good for a few horses.
No pricing or availability was released.
[Source: GT Spirit]
We’ve checked out Oakley Designs’ rendition of Ferrari’s 458 Italia before and now we’ll have a chance to see it in person in the HRE booth at this year’s SEMA show. By far one of the cleanest styling packages we have seen for the new Italia, the British tuner looks to to give it the American spotlight with its North American debut at the largest aftermarket show in America.
Since the Oakley Design 458 comes exclusively with HRE P40S Monoblok wheels, it’s no surprise Oakley Design opted to go with a co-branding opportunity in HRE’s booth. And for those that don’t know the details behind Oakley Design’s 458 Italia, it gets a power boost from 562-hp to 618-hp thanks to a remapped ECU and larger carbon fiber intake box.
The exterior is accented with a new front spoiler that provides plenty of additional down force while the rear gets a spoiler with Gurney flap.
Press release available after the break.
GALLERY: Oakley Design Ferrari 458 Italia SEMA Car
Yes, you’ve got yourself a Ferrari 458 Italia and while you absolutely love the vehicle, you want to do a little something to spice it up and set it apart from your neighbors identical version. But you don’t want to go overboard or scream “Hey look at me!” so what do you do? Well now you’ve got yourself a great option with replacement carbon fiber accessory parts straight from Maranello.
The side skirts come painted or unpainted, which makes sense since carbon fiber side skirts sometimes seem odd and don’t flow with the rest of the car when not painted. The front wings and rear diffuser however can be enjoyed in all their carbon fiber glory as accents to the front and rear bumpers.
The front wings are compatible with the parking sensors while the rear diffuser comes complete with vertical fins and fog lamps/rear grill frames.
No pricing has been announced, but we’re guessing it’s all a pretty penny.
[Source: Top Speed]
GALLERY: Ferrari 458 Italia Carbon Fiber Accessories
It may look a lot like a real car, but the photo above (and the ones below) are 3D renderings created by John Mark Vicente of JMVDesign.
Much like many automotive enthusiasts in the world, when Ferrari showed off the new 458 Italia, John Vicente wasn’t really fond of the initial design. He decided to revamp it with his vision, making it more aggressive and, subsequently, a lot more appealing.
Sure it’s a little Lamborghini-esque, but we can’t say we hate it. John’s whole design actually looks more in line with what we would have envisioned Ferrari to have done in the first place. The aggressive nature of this 458 Italia GT really shows what Ferrari is all about, while the aggressive rear diffuser and spoiler give it a real race car look.
We wonder how long it will be before we see some tuning company transform this vision into reality.
[Source: Jon Sibal]
See all the renderings after the jump:
While Ferrari is recalling all those beautiful 458 Italias out on the road due to a fire hazard, Amalgam Fine Model Cars has released a $5,000 1:8th scale replica of the Italian machine. Looks like some clever marketing to us, then again, maybe it’s just a coincidence.
Just checking out the photos of the replica shows just how intricately detailed it is. Apparently Amalgam worked closely with none other than Michael Schumacher to produce this replica. It’s a little perplexing why they’d need the input of Schumacher in designing a replica model that you don’t drive, but maybe it’s because the car they were replicating it off of got burnt down (hardy har har).
Nonetheless, the $5,000 toy comes in traditional Ferrari red, yellow or black and can actually be customized to your specifications. We’re not quite sure what that entails, or what accessories/options are available, but it’s there if you’re interested. We have to say though, we’re very impressed by how nicely detailed the interior is in this model. Many model cars normally just stop with the exterior, but Amalgam really nailed this one when it comes to the interior.
GALLERY: 1:8 Scale Ferrari 458 Italia Model Car
Excited for the LA Auto Show? Can’t wait to see the new Ferrari 458 in person after its worldwide debut in Frankfurt a few months back? We hate to be the bearer of bad news, but the amazing new 458 won’t be on display at the Los Angeles Auto Show. In fact, no Ferrari will – well, not any official Ferrari cars anyway. (We’re sure a few tuners will have some modified F cars).
After showing the California at the LA Auto Show last year, several rumors pointed towards Ferrari displaying a possible hybrid prototype in 2009. That, we have now learned, will not be the case.
Ferrari has made the decision not to have an official presence at the LA Auto Show. Most likely this means a private event will be held near by, but the Italian automaker hasn’t released any info on that either.
Also absent will be Aston Martin, which we expected would use the show to give a North American debut to its new Rapide sedan.
GALLERY: Ferrari 458 Italia Debut in Frankfurt
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Ferrari has just released a brief video of its latest exotic, the 458 Italia, going full-tilt on a race track. And as you might expect… it’s incredible.
Using an aluminum chassis and plenty of other light weight metals and materials the 458 Italia weighs an astonishingly low 3,043 lbs in its dry form. Combining this ultra-low weight with a new 4,499cc V8 engine and a new smooth-shifting dual-clutch 7-speed transmission (that Ferrari claims is faster than the current F1 tranny), the 458 Italia can hit 62 mph in just 3.4 seconds and blast on to a top speed of 202 mph.
Power output is rated at 570hp at 9000 rpm and 398 ft-lbs of torque at 6000 rpm.
As expected, however, the 458 is about far more than straight line speed and so Ferrari has worked hard at applying its racing technology to improve the E-Diff differential and F1-Trac traction control systems to allow the newest prancing horse to put down 32 percent more power out of the corners.
Watch in awe as it does just that.